Tribe Adds Johnson

Posted in Baseball at 1:30 pm by

RHP Jason Johnson, Detroit’s 2005 opening day starter, has signed a one year deal with Cleveland.

Johnson, 8-13 with a 4.54 ERA last season, is expected to join Paul Byrd in the Indians’ starting rotation, recently depleted with the loss of Scott Elarton and likely departure of Kevin Millwood. A diabetic, Johnson is also the only player in MLB allowed to wear an insulin pump on the field. If Danny Graves makes the Indians’ big league roster, Johnson and some of his teammates might soon petition for the right to use other intravenous drugs while in uniform.

Perhaps He Meant “Young At Heart”?

Posted in Basketball at 1:17 pm by

LA’s Lamar Odom and Miami’s Gary Payton had to be seperated at the conclusion of yesterday’s Heat/Lakers matinee. The Miami Herald’s Israel Guiterrez sheds little light on the situation.

There’s trash talk, and then there’s Gary Payton’s talk.

Sunday, Payton was at his best — or worst, depending on your perspective. The target of his verbal jabs was former Heat forward Lamar Odom. And Odom didn’t take well to Payton’s chatter.

Payton received a technical foul in the third quarter for his wrangling with Odom, after which Odom winked toward his bench as if he had the situation under control.

But the back-and-forth banter continued for the remainder of the game, to the point where the two had to be separated at midcourt after the game was over. Odom said Payton crossed the line of good sportsmanship with some of his comments.

‘He’s an extremely disrespectful young man,’”‘ Odom said. “I’m not going to repeat anything he said, but he’s extremely disrespectful.

“It’s dudes like that, that’s why things happen off the court between players and their friends and things like that. He needs to watch how he talks to other men. It’s a difference between competing and how you talk to another man.”

Payton (above) said he was just doing what he normally does, trying to get into the minds of his competition.

”You just keep talking and keep playing,” Payton said. “Some of the players, their mentality is they want to get mad and take it personal against you, then they start thinking about you all the time. That’s where my mental toughness is, because I don’t care. I can talk, and I’m not going to worry about you anymore.”

Odom normally doesn’t get caught up in trash talk, so this must have been some of Payton’s finest work.

”That wasn’t an accomplishment to me,” Payton said. “That’s the way I am. You say something to me, I’ll say something back to you. It was in fun to me. It’s over with. He goes home, I go home.”

Hell In The Cell : Misinformed Mora Loses It

Posted in Gridiron at 12:47 pm by

You’ve probably heard by now that Atlanta coach Jim Mora didn’t take kindly to being asked why the Falcons chose to to punt on 4th and 2 from their own 24 with 1:08 left in OT Saturday — supposedly, Mora threw his headset microphone, narrowly missing the skull of sideline reporter.

As the Augusta Chronicle’s Don Coble points out, it was a pretty obvious question. Voluntarily giving possession back to the Bucs at that point ended the Falcons’ playoff hopes.

In an era of instant messaging and Internet searches, it shouldn’t have been that difficult for the Atlanta Falcons to know about their playoff position during Saturday afternoon’s game at Tampa Bay.

Coach Jim Mora (above, right) even made a call on his cell phone from the sidelines during the 27-24 overtime loss, presumably to find out the ramifications of a win, loss or tie against the Buccaneers.

As it turned out, the Falcons were misguided. They believed they remained in the playoff hunt with a loss, although they really were eliminated with a loss or a tie.

Apparently the information superhighway made a detour around the team’s training camp.

After punting the ball with 68 seconds remaining in overtime – kicking away any playoff hopes – Mora was led to believe his team still had a chance with a victory next Sunday against Carolina. Team representatives in the press box said the same thing.

Mora was so sure, he got upset when he was asked why he wanted to punt on fourth-and-two at the end of overtime. When asked about the punt by the team’s radio network, he left the interview.

It didn’t matter after Tampa Bay took the punt, drove 26 yards in five plays and won the game on Matt Bryant’s 41-yard field goal.

“We couldn’t come up with a solid, solid answer, and I’m not really one to play for ties,” Mora said.

If a team can’t even figure out the playoff scenario – and it was posted on at least 50 different Web sites, including NFL.com – it’s no wonder they talked of lost direction after the game.

I’m sorry to keep harping on the Chargers, but unless you actually watched San Diego and Atlanta this season, it’s amazing to consider that neither Michael Vick nor LaDanien Tomlinson (arguably the two most exciting players in the league) will figure in the postseason.

Parker, Longoria Tangle With Bike Cop

Posted in Basketball, The Law at 12:24 pm by

From MSNBC :

Spurs guard Tony Parker was cited for impeding traffic and failing to produce a valid Texas driver™s license during a traffic stop in which girlfriend and œDesperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria was his passenger, police said.

An officer on a bicycle saw the stopped car holding up traffic early Saturday and rapped the hood with his hand, according to a police report. Parker, behind the wheel, questioned why the officer touched the car, and the couple œbegan screaming in a verbally abusive and demeaning manner, police said. Longoria called the police report œhighly inaccurate.

Police say the Parker began to drive away, almost hitting a man standing nearby. After being told to stop and get out, Parker showed a French driver™s license, police said. The officer who wrote the citations said Parker complained: œThis is all the cops do, just mess with people, and that Longoria shouted from the car: œHe™s just a Mexican bike cop. He only wants your autograph.

Longoria denied making the comment.

Coming later today on “NBA Fastbreak”, Dee Brown critiques Parker’s form in dealing with police harrassment.

MSG’s Dolan : The Party’s Over

Posted in Basketball, Hockey at 11:37 am by

One franchise is a rare case of rebuilding and contending at the same time (albiet after years of futility), the other has a payroll amongst their league’s highest while contending for nothing more than a 2006 lottery pick (which the Bulls are entitled to). Compare and contrast the following Rangers and Knicks notes ;

From the New York Post’s Larry Brooks :

While we’re on the subject of measuring sticks, allow me a Santa-sized, jelly-belly-shaking chuckle at the notion that since the Rangers have already exceeded expectations, management is now released from its obligation to improve the team if it can be done without shaking the foundation of the program.

If that’s the case, the 1969 Mets must not have gotten that memo before trading Steve Renko and three other young suspects for Donn Clendenon at the June 15 deadline, did they?

From the Post’s Marc Berman :

Larry Brown sat down with Knicks owner James Dolan (above) last Wednesday at their Westchester practice campus. The head coach met with Dolan, top Cablevision executive Hank Ratner, Garden president Steve Mills and Knicks president Isiah Thomas.

Dolan wanted to hear Brown’s thoughts on the young players and get his take on the disastrous season, which continues tonight when the 7-18 Knicks host the Atlantic Division-leading Nets.

At no point did Brown sense that Dolan was unwilling to do whatever it takes to stop the bleeding. Two league sources, however, told The Post that Dolan is almost up to his limit ” that he’s no longer willing to be Santa Claus and he’s reluctant to add much to his already league-high $119 million payroll for only a marginal boost.

While discussing Thomas’ job performance during his two years in New York, Brown let it slip that the luxury-tax issue has begun to put the brakes on reckless spending on players. “The luxury tax has changed,” Brown said. “When [former MSG president Dave] Checketts was here, we didn’t have the luxury tax.”

If Dolan is uneager to add payroll, it’s hard to blame him. Beyond the $119 million payroll, he’s on the hook for about $43 million in luxury tax ” even after a reduction from Allan Houston’s medical retirement.

Dolan is shelling out more than $9 million per year for Brown and paying a league-high six assistant coaches. He is also still paying former GM Scott Layden’s final year of salary ($6 million) and of course, Thomas’ own salary.

Derek Bailey, RIP

Posted in music at 12:39 am by

Sheffield native Derek Bailey, who continually pushed the limits of the acoustic and electric guitar through a recorded career spanning some 40+ years, has passed away at the age of 75.

A co-director of the Incus label, author of the book ‘Improvisation : It’s Nature And Practice’, and a collaborator with Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, Lol Coxhill, Steve Beresford, Thurston Moore, Steve Lacy and the Ruins amongst many others, Bailey has left behind a gargantuan body of work that will continue to amaze and inspire for generations to come.


Miller : NHLPA’s Saskin Stinks

Posted in Hockey at 10:59 pm by

From the New York Times’ Jason Diamos.

Since the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement last summer, N.H.L. Commissioner Gary Bettman has often referred to a new partnership between the owners and the players union.

That sort of talk raises the ire of Marvin Miller, the former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

“It tells me really what I’ve known all along,” the 88-year-old Miller said. “And that is that the N.H.L.P.A. has never been a legitimate union at no time. It has always been an offshoot of management.”

Miller pointed to the players union’s eventual willingness to accept a salary cap and to Ted Saskin’s controversial ascension to executive director of the union (he replaced Bob Goodenow). Saskin (above) had been the union’s senior director of business affairs and licensing.

“The whole thing smells bad,” Miller said. “It just has a very bad odor. You have a so-called senior adviser who takes the leading role in making one of the worst settlements imaginable and then becomes executive director of the union.”

Of the salary cap, Miller said: “I don’t think it was necessary. All the signs were that the union, having come that far, they had more than a fighter’s chance of prevailing. And when the tide turns like that, I get very suspicious of management’s role in coercing the membership.”

When told of Miller’s comments, Saskin said: “Certainly, I disagree with it. Over the last 15 years, since myself and Bob Goodenow have been involved in the players association, we have been relentless advocates of player rights on a myriad of issues.

“I think, obviously, with our new collective bargaining agreement, there are parts of our business in which it’s important for us to cooperate with management.

“I have a lot of respect for Marvin Miller. But also know he’s had no familiarity with anything that has happened in our association over the last 15 years.”

Lame Xmas Xbox Hoax

Posted in Parental Responsibility, Video Games at 8:58 pm by

If this story sounds familiar, that’s because a nearly identical stunt was pulled a couple of years ago. At least once.

Because Somebody’s Gotta Uphold Standards

Posted in The Woah at 4:13 pm by

From the New York Times’ Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker.

The commander of American-run prisons in Iraq says the military will not turn over any detainees or detention centers to Iraqi jailers until American officials are satisfied that the Iraqis are meeting United States standards for the care and custody of detainees.

“Bottom line, we will not pass on facilities or detainees until they meet the standards we define and that we are using today,” the commander, Maj. Gen. John D. Gardner of the Army, said in a telephone interview this week from Iraq.

Who better than Army Spc. Charles Graner (above) to help enforce U.S. standards for the care and custody of detainees? He’s got time on his hands, and the Iraqis could surely use someone with his unique skill-set.

A Christmas Tradition Older & Finer Than Kobe Vs. Shaq

Posted in Merry Fucking Christmas, Rock Und Roll at 3:16 pm by

Frequent CSTB contributor / Princeton hoops enthusiast Jon Solomon can currently be heard on WPRB, hosting his 18th Annual 24 hour Christmas marathon. For another 2 hours, at least.

A Real Player / Windows Media feed can be found here. Webcam footage of Jon doing his thing is also available.

Toros Break The Bank With TV Spots

Posted in Basketball at 2:22 pm by

(from left to right, Andre Emmett, Dennis Johnson and Marcus Fizer remind you that seats, though not necessarily good ones, start at $11)

It’s eye-rubbin’ time. Pre-game festivities for today’s Lakers/Heat tilt were briefly interrupted on the local ABC affiliate KVUE by what appeared to be hastily shot commercials for the NBDL’s Austin Toros, 2-6 entering Wednesday’s game with Tulsa.

The giggly trio shown above delivered the franchise’s dubious slogan “the NBA dream begins in Austin” as capably as any trained actor. I hate to nitpick, however, but unless said line is delivered by LaMarcus Alrdidge, it would probably be more truthful to say “the NBA dream ends in Austin for the big fella on the right”. But that isn’t much of a sales pitch.

Not much else to say about today’s NBA coverage other than it’s nice to see that neither “Showgirls” nor a haircut worse than Johnny Damon’s has stood in the way of Kyle MacLachlan’s continued employment.

Edes : Damon Departure Has Epstein’s Fingerprints All Over It

Posted in Baseball at 1:03 pm by

Gordon Edes hears the anguished cries of Red Sox fans, saddened at the club’s loss of Johnny Damon to their hated Bronx rivals, and the Globe columnist has a rather unique take on who is responsible.

The Red Sox need Theo Epstein (above) to step out of the shadows. Hey, we don’t begrudge him a couple of months out of the spotlight, a chance to hang with Pearl Jam in South America, a few normal nights with loved ones, a respite from the pressures of managing the most intensely scrutinized business in New England, a job that became harder, not easier, after the Sox finally won a World Series after 86 years of trying.

But what has been best for Theo hardly has been what is best for the organization, which has taken a fearsome public beating for appearing to have dissolved into chaos at the top. The latest to point a damning finger was Johnny Damon, who pegged his departure in part to a fractured front office, suggesting that if Epstein was still in place he might never have left.

Oh, really? Are we to believe that if Epstein was the GM, the Red Sox would have offered a deal more competitive than the one the Yankees used to lure Damon from Boston?

I’m not buying it. I can’t offer incontrovertible proof — it’s hard to do so when people operate from the shadows — but my take on the Sox’ stance with Damon is that it was absolutely consistent with Epstein’s position regarding the club’s free agents: You make your best judgment of a player’s value to you, you set a price, and you don’t allow anything — sentiment, nostalgia, public pressure — to cause you to stray from it.

The decision not to offer Damon more than the four-year, $40 million proposal they made to him was, in my opinion, every bit as much, if not more, Epstein’s as it was Larry Lucchino’s. There’s nothing keeping Epstein from speed-dialing John W. Henry and Jed Hoyer from the shadows, and they are both predisposed to allow Epstein to shape the Sox’future according to his vision.

It was the same last winter with Pedro Martinez; the Sox determined they would not go beyond a certain price for Pedro and they didn’t. Plenty of other teams would have caved before allowing Martinez to leave, but the Epstein Sox always have been about planning three or four years ahead, not just in the short term.

Epstein dropped plenty of hints during the summer when he said he wasn’t married to the idea of making the Sox the best run-producing machine possible at the expense of pitching and defense. That was the best approach with what he had to work with, Epstein said, but under different circumstances, he might take a different tack. That may be what we’re seeing at play now, the team switching to building a deep bullpen, investing heavily in starting pitching to complement the wave of young arms coming up through the system, and upgrading defensively even if it means sacrificing some offense.

Could I be wrong? Sure, but I don’t think so. I expect sometime in the next month Epstein’s ”adviser” role will be made official, but even that is inadequate and misleading and mocks the intelligence of the fans, who are supposed to somehow believe that Epstein is in a subordinate role to the two guys who have been at his beck and call the last three years

Vescey Hails Kobe’s 62

Posted in Basketball at 12:48 pm by

The usually hard to impress New York Post’s Peter Vescey puts Kobe Bryant’s 62 point explosion against Dallas Wednesday night into some historical perspective.

Nobody I know who’s been around the pro or college game since the Twelfth of Never can remember a player ever outscoring a team by the end of the third quarter as Kobe Bryant did last Tuesday against the Mavericks.

Not even Wilt, the night he tattooed the Knicks for 100 points, or in any game during the ’61-’62 season when he averaged 50.4 for Philadelphia.

Not Elgin Baylor, when he notched 71 against the Knicks (of course), a Lakers franchise record that got a stay of execution when professionalism reigned supreme for the final quarter against the Mavericks.

Not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer or league runner-up Karl Malone; not Michael Jordan, who captured a ludicrous 10 scoring titles, three more than Wilt and six more than George Gervin and Allen Iverson.

Not David Thompson, owner of the second-highest scoring total (73 on the final day of the ’77-’78 season) in league history, for all the good it did him. Gervin beat him out for the title later that evening when he flushed 63.

Not George Mikan. Not Moses Malone. Not Frank Selvy. Not Bevo Francis. Not Bob McAdoo. And not Julius Erving, despite having a boulevard of green lights courtesy of coach Kevin Loughery. I once watched Dr. J. (along with roughly 2,500 others) barbecue the San Diego Conquistadors for 63 points. Only it took him a little more than three quarters to accomplish his feat; the Nets eked out a 175-165 decision in four extra sessions.

Not even Pete Maravich, during his three-year scourge of college when he averaged 44.2 points for LSU , outscored an opponent at the end of three quarters. Though Walt Frazier might’ve thought he did one bleak New Orleans evening in ’77, when I gaped in wonder as Pistol Pete perforated the Knicks’ pin-up defensive guard for 68.

In other words, not a single one of basketball’s all-time official scorers ” high school and below don’t count ” achieved what Kobe did. Consequently, unless someone can produce proof to the contrary, Kobe is hereby recognized as the first earthling to voyage to that unimaginable frontier of enchantment.

Don’t Ask, Dotel

Posted in Baseball, The Law at 11:06 am by

From the St. Petersberg Times’ Damien Christodero.

Salvador Delgado said major-league players from the Dominican Republic are viewed as “heros” by their countrymen. But Delgado said some of those countrymen in the New York area are feeling ripped off, and some of baseball’s biggest names, as well as Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo, are accused of being involved.

Delgado, an attorney representing convenience store owners who say they unknowingly sold defective phone cards advertised by the players, filed a $35-million civil lawsuit.

Named as defendants, among others, are Lugo, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez and Yankees pitcher Octavio Dotel. Also named are American Worldwide Telecom, STX Communications, TWD Prepaid Cards, STI Mobile and Global Compass Inc.

Delgado said most of the cards known as Grandes Ligas (Major Leagues) were bought by Dominicans who used them to phone home. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in United States District Court in New York and claims fraud and deceptive advertising, says the cards substantially shortchanged users.

According to the lawsuit, a $2 phone card that was supposed to provide a 70-minute call to the Dominican, provided either nine or 10 minutes.

Ortiz’s agent, Diego Bentz, told the Boston Globe his client, Tejada and Martinez were lured into the deal by Dotel.

“They were trying to do a favor and it just snowballed,” Bentz said.

But Delgado said, “We think it is unlikely that any of the baseball players entered into the preprinted card business as a favor to a friend.”

J.R. Rider was unavailable for comment.

Really, the best part of the above item is the way Christodero distinguishes between “some of baseball’s biggest names” and “as well as Julio Lugo.”

Raissman Recalls Kay’s Caveman Commentary

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 10:55 am by

Holidays be damned, the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman knows that YES network hypocrisy doesn’t take a day off.

Man, that Johnny Damon Friday press conference can only be described as a vintage Al Yankzeera moment.

Watching Brian Cashman and Yankee prez Randy Levine step to the microphone and praise Damon only made me wonder how they characterized him in private moments when he was sticking it to the Yankees.

However, the most disingenuous part of this Phoney Fest, came when Al Yank’s chief Minister of Propaganda, Michael Kay (above), engaged Damon in a suck-up session, er, interview. This is the same Kay who in 2004, on his ESPN-1050 show, expressed outrage over Damon daring to have long hair and a beard. Kay called Damon a “caveman” and constantly put the focus on Damon’s appearance rather than his performance.

“Is this the type person you want representing your organization?” an indignant Kay asked in 2004. He ranted on, saying the Red Sox were encouraging “clubhouse chaos” by allowing Damon to wear his hair and beard the way he wanted to.

Of course, when you live in the controlled world of Al Yankzeera, freedom ain’t a high priority.

And yeah, that “clubhouse chaos” sure had an adverse impact on the 2004 Red Sox. Things got so bad Damon and his teammates actually won the World Series.

Enjoy The Day

Posted in Merry Fucking Christmas at 12:21 am by

(CSTB’s long suffering corporate mascot Jack, right, endures the ritual humiliation of yet another stupid hat, while girlfriend Stella looks on)

Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kobe Vs. Shaq, the San Diego Chargers choking up a storm in ’05, or none of the above, here’s wishing you a terrific 25th of December.


The Fiver’s Christmas Special

Posted in Football at 6:15 pm by

At roughly 11am central each day, the Guardian’s Fiver — a column so incisive, they can’t include it in the actual newspaper — hits my inbox and proceeds to eviscerate most of the soccer universe’s movers and shakers. The following are samples from the Fiver’s annual Super Deluxe Christmas Awards, as penned by Barry Glendenning and Sean Ingle.


In any other year, Real Madrid vice-president Emilio Butragueno’s description of his boss Florentino Perez as a “superior being” would have gone toe-to-toe with RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy’s fawning insistence that “Roy Keane is right about everything”. In 2005, however, Sky Sports News presenter Jim White (above) romped home after his virtuoso display of toadying in front of 100,000 unemployed Geordies. “You’re the greatest fans in the world!” he cooed during the unveiling of Michael Owen. As brown of nose as he is silver of hair, Jim then directed his adoring gaze towards Magpies boss Graeme Souness. “You’ve done so much in football but this must be one of your proudest moments,” he gushed, as the rest of the nation reached for the communal sick bucket.


The MU Rowdies, for keeping us all laughing by being bought by a fat American gazillionaire with bad trousers, to the obvious disgust of Shareholders United – a pressure group of Rowdies fans labouring under the delusion that plcs can’t be bought. Chairman Nick Towle confidently predicted that their arrival would prompt 20,000 Rowdies fans to boycott matches and merchandise, costing the club and its sponsors £18.5m per year. As threats go, it’s proved to be emptier than the cupboard in the DevilBowl trophy room marked “Big Cups Won Since 1999″.

Dick’s Picks

Posted in politics, Rock Und Roll at 4:21 pm by

(Mr. Heartbeat-Away rejecting a listener’s request for T. Valentine’s “Lucille, Are You A Lesbian?”, claiming he can’t find it in the library during a guest DJ stint at WMUC)

BoingBoing.net passed along yesterday’s silly tale of Dick Cheney commandeering an Air Force Two power supply for the purpose of recharging his Vice Presidential iPod. Such gossip did cause some to pose the question “what’s on Dick’s iPod?”, when in fact, Cheney already supplied a personal playlist to a mid-minor record label some 5 years ago, back when the only “Valerie” he was thinking of was that terrific veteran actress named Perrine.

M.O.T.O. – “I™m On Top Of The World On Top Of The World”
GG Allin & The Murder Junkies – “Legalize Murder”
N2Deep – “Back To The Hotel”
Terre Thaemlitz – “Selling”
Saccharine Trust – “We Don™t Need Freedom”
The Feederz – Teachers In Space (album)
Robbie Williams – Sing When You™re Winning (album)
Stone Temple Pilots – 4 (album)
Zagar & Evans – “Aftermath”

‘Skins Pissing On Giants

Posted in Gridiron at 3:04 pm by

Granted, the Washington Redskins have every right to be totally pumped about today’s beating-in-progress (35-20 with about 10 minutes to go) over the NFC East leading NY Giants. But is a mere takedown of Tiki Barber on the part of DT Joe Salave’a worthy of crawling on all fours followed by lifting his right leg?

It really isn’t fair. Phil Mushnick shouldn’t be forced to write a column on Christmas Eve.

Stevie Ray Vandalized

Posted in Rock Und Roll, Tourism at 2:48 pm by

Time-Warner Cable’s News 8 was on the spot early this morning, spicing up an otherwise slow local news day with the story of the 8 foot statue of Stevie Ray Vaughn being defaced.

A local correspondent who will remain nameless (in case he or she ever wants to do the weather at News 8 ) comments below :

Subject: My new hero(es)
Body: Some beautiful person and/or persons defaced the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue at Town Lake in Austin last night.

This ugly, overbearing, bronze statue has been a blistering eyesore for the tasteful masses for years now. News 8 (Time Warner’s sad 24 hour news station) covered it early this morning, revealing that the word “POSER” was painted on the front, “See you in Hell” at the base, and some unnamed profanity on the reverse. Some passerbys’ quotes include a woman in her late 40s with fashionable jogging gear: “I’m an artist, too, and I appreciate what that is, and everyone does, and — well — obviously some don’t.” (Um, what “real” “artist” is jogging at 8am?) An even older fellow, looking very confused: “I don’t know what they’re protesting against.” (I would wager that they were drunkenly protesting against mediocre, Hendrix nutsack-swinging, drug-fueled GARBAGE that is pervasively revered by the small “c” local celebrities who speak for Austin.) And finally, a random, ugly, bearded tourist from Florida: “No respect for the dead…All he did was make good music and make people happy.” (Many people take exception to this — people like myself, who, as a sign shop employee, was forced to hear his poisonous aural carrion day after fucking day on KLBJ-FM.)

I’m not glad the motherfucker’s dead, but bitches, please, this is the most overrated guitar player of all time, a product of a pissant city that thinks so highly of itself to call itself the “Live Music Capitol of the World.” His wanky, artless garbage encouraged many other morons to pick up an axe and continue the suffering he started, and make places like Antone’s be able to book filth like this 7 nights a week.

I love the Blues. I love these drunks who did this in the middle of the night. I love News 8 Austin for getting their cameras down there to shoot and record it before the City sent out their underpaid minions to wash it off around 10am. It shall live in eternity on my DVR (until I get it burned to DVD, at least).

This shall be the best Christkkkmas ever. My heart races with joy.

The $399 Diploma Mill Surrenders

Posted in College Spurts, Lower Education at 1:44 pm by

Shady correspondence college “University High School”, subject of a New York Times expose last month, is pulling the plug writes the Times’ Duff Wilson.

University High School, a correspondence school in Miami being investigated for giving fast, high grades to qualify high school athletes for college scholarships, is going out of business Dec. 31, its founder, Stanley J. Simmons, said yesterday.

“It’s a disaster,” Simmons, 75, said in a telephone interview from his Miami home. “I’m finishing up everything, and I’m going back into retirement.”

In Miami yesterday, a leasing agent said University High School had vacated its unit in an office building. The small space was available for $1,300 a month. The school name had been removed from the building directory and a sign that read “Enabling homeschoolers nationwide – University High School” had been removed from the office door.

Simmons, who founded the school in 2000, said he had sold it about 14 months ago to Michael R. Kinney, 27, of Miami, who had operated it for him for years. Simmons said Kinney defaulted on his monthly payment after The Times wrote about the school last month, prompting state investigations.

Simmons said the school was “totally mismanaged – probably more than mismanaged” – and also that Kinney was responsible for the venture to help high school athletes qualify for N.C.A.A. scholarships. “There’s no way that I would consider remaining in the business,” Simmons said.

Simmons wrote a letter for the remaining students, telling them to pay their fees and finish their tests before Dec. 31. The letter concluded, in all upper-case letters, “If you are serious about receiving your high school diploma, we recommend that you act now!”

Simmons, who holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Michigan, taught in Miami schools and a community college before opening a series of correspondence schools beginning in 1976. He served 10 months in a federal prison camp after pleading guilty in 1989 to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, a felony, in connection with a diploma-mill university. Since then, he has operated correspondence high schools.

Kinney could not be reached and has repeatedly declined to comment. “He caused all these problems,” Simmons said of Kinney.

Flashing Back To Lousy Lions Of Yore

Posted in Gridiron at 11:45 am by

As genunine lynch mobs attempt to run Matt Millen out of Motown, the Detroit News’ Jerry Green remembers prior, primitive efforts to express fan dissatisfaction.

The question was popped at me at least three times from different colleagues last Sunday as the Lions were being dismembered, again. œHave you ever seen it worse?

It has taken a series of my flashbacks to determine the response: œNever worse than this year, but a couple just as bad.

(it’s a Match Game kinda Christmas Eve around here)

For example, the Lions were a fractured football team in 1966. Harry Gilmer, the coach, had himself a familiar problem. He had to play quarterback roulette – Milt Plum or Karl Sweetan. The locker room was split, and Alex Karras (above) stoked up a near rebellion against Harry Gilmer, the coach. One day after practice, Gilmer took me by the arm and escorted me from the locker room as I listened to Karras.

Under duress? Gilmer knew William Ford would be firing him when the season ended. There was no angry fan parade drummed up by a radio station. The rabble displayed more ingenuity – if that is the proper word.

As Gilmer walked off the field at Tiger Stadium after the last loss in a 4-9-1 season, they bombarded him with snowballs. Some of the players rushed to protect Gilmer from the abuse with their capes.

Inside, Gilmer greeted us with his comment about the snowball attack.

œAt least they didn”t have rocks in them, Gilmer said, his departure assured.

Preston On Bloggy Brian Billick

Posted in Gridiron at 11:35 am by

From the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston.

In “The Source: Brian Billick’s Weekly Diary” on the team’s Web site, Billick (above, left) finally admits to what we’ve known since the end of 2004: that he lost touch with the team, especially this season when the Ravens were expected to make a Super Bowl run.

His mea culpa talked of his inability to give the Ravens the best opportunity to succeed. He even followed up with a mea maxima culpa by declaring: “I am not sure I have kept this focus of priorities properly for this team.”

“In the last two weeks, I hope that I can re-establish that sense of priority for this team for now and in the future,” Billick wrote. “What we do these last two weeks can have a very tangible effect on our success in the future. I do not want to let pass by these two chances to re-establish the focus, passion and sense of accountability we have to each other and this organization.

“This begins first and foremost with me, and I intend to live up to that obligation by rededicating myself to the fundamental reason I love this job: a love for coaching and all that accompanies the obligations of being a coach/teacher. It is my hope that this last month of the season the players have sensed that rededication in me and know I will do everything I can to carry that mentality into next year.”

Enough of the confession. What’s the purpose?

Is this a pre-emptive strike before meeting with owner Steve Bisciotti at the end of the season? Is Billick being refreshingly honest, or is he begging for his job? Billick was asked to elaborate, but his answer echoed his diary entry. So, I called the Ravens’ two sports psychologists, but they were both too busy with Kyle Boller.

But I did ask three other head coaches in other sports. One said Billick should have kept those comments private and shared them with his players. Another said he was trying to appeal to the fans, and another said it was obvious that Billick was trying to show accountability while pleading with Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome for one more year if he could win the last two games.

But is Bisciotti willing to give his head coach another year of revolving quarterbacks? Does he think Billick can revive a locker room that has some disgruntled superstars who are tired of listening to an old message? Does Bisciotti ignore Billick’s overall record and Super Bowl championship after watching his team slide the past two seasons? Was this year an aberration or a sign of things to come?

And the answer is …

It’s a shame Bisciotti doesn’t have a diary.

Couch Potatoes, Meet Pukey

Posted in Fitness at 10:36 am by

While some of you are well immersed in your holiday debauchery, others amongst us (present company not included, of course) are already getting a head start on those New Year’s Resolutions…to the extreme. From Thursday’s New York Times and Stephanie Cooperman (link courtesy Sam Frank).

A controversial exercise program has attracted a growing following of thousands nationwide, who log on to CrossFit.com for a daily workout, said its founder, Greg Glassman. Participants skip StairMasters and weight machines. Instead they do high-intensity workouts that mix gymnastics, track and field skills and bodybuilding, resting very little between movements.

The emphasis is on speed and weight hoisted, not technique. And the importance placed on quantifiable results has attracted hard-charging people like hedge fund managers, former Olympians and scientists. But some exercise experts are troubled by the lack of guidance for beginners, who may dive into stressful workouts as Mr. Anderson did. (He had not worked out regularly for two years.) “There’s no way inexperienced people doing this are not going to hurt themselves,” said Wayne Winnick, a sports medicine specialist in private practice in Manhattan, who also works for the New York City Marathon.

Other critics say that even fit people risk injury if they exercise strenuously and too quickly to give form its due, as CrossFit participants often do. For people who like to push the limits of fitness and strength – there are many police officers, firefighters and military personnel in the ranks of CrossFit athletes – the risks are worth it, because they consider it the most challenging workout around.

The short grueling sessions aren’t for the weekend gym warrior. The three-days-on, one-day-rest schedule includes workouts like “Cindy”: 20 minutes of as many repetitions as you can of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats. “Fight Gone Bad” entails rotating through five exercises, including throwing a 20-pound ball at a target 10 feet away. And only veteran CrossFit devotees even attempt, and few complete, “Murph,” a timed mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and then a second mile run. (A weighted vest is optional.)

Mr. Glassman, CrossFit’s founder, does not discount his regimen’s risks, even to those who are in shape and take the time to warm up their bodies before a session.

“It can kill you,” he said. “I’ve always been completely honest about that.”

But CrossFitters revel in the challenge. A common axiom among practitioners is “I met Pukey,” meaning they worked out so hard they vomited. Some even own T-shirts emblazoned with a clown, Pukey. CrossFit’s other mascot is Uncle Rhabdo, another clown, whose kidneys have spilled onto the floor presumably due to rhabdomyolysis.

Red Sox Wooing Millwood

Posted in Baseball at 1:24 am by

Already considering a reported 4 year offer from the Texas Rangers, free agent pitcher Kevin Milllwood is getting the full court press from the Red Sox, writes the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman. And no, he can’t play center field.

The Red Sox, according to an industry source, are believed to have already made an offer of four years to Millwood, but he is currently looking for a six-year deal. The obvious middle ground would be five years, which happens to be the length of the deal that another coveted right-hander, A.J. Burnett, got from the Blue Jays. Burnett received an annual average salary of $11 million and Millwood, who is represented by Scott Boras, is believed to be asking for more than that.

The Red Sox already have added starter Josh Beckett and want to bolster their rotation further, especially with the acknowledgement that they will have to trade David Wells. Given the team™s deficiencies at center fielder, leadoff hitter and shortstop, Wells might have to be traded to fill those holes.

Danny Horwits, agent for first baseman J.T. Snow, said the Red Sox are one of three teams left trying to sign the free agent. The 37-year-old, recognized by many as the best defensive first baseman in the game, could make up his mind shortly after Christmas, said Horwits.